Breastfeeding day in and out can be exhausting for a mama who needs to rest and recuperate. That’s why it’s so important for dads to step in and learn how to bottle feed their baby. Not to mention that it also gives them the opportunity to bond with their little one. But this is easier said than done. After all, when the baby is feeding from the mother, they are able to sense when the infant is uncomfortable or is done feeding. However, the same cannot be said when bottle feeding them. This is why dads need a little help and guidance when it comes to nursing their babies. So, if you’d like a couple of tips to bottle feed your baby like a pro, then this is the article for you! Read on to know them all!
1. Figure Out The Baby’s Hunger Cues
In order to feed your baby well, you must first learn to detect when your little one needs to be fed. And if you’ve got a newborn in your arms, chances are that that’s quite often. If you’re taking the night shift, you’ll probably have to feed them about 3 to 4 times, depending on how much milk your baby drinks. But if you’re confused as to if your infant is hungry, you need to learn to read their cues to be sure. The more subtle hunger cues of a baby are mouthing, nestling towards your chest and sucking on their fingers. But of course, if you’re resting your eyes and don’t catch those, your little one will soon cry in order to get your attention. Your baby’s cry could also be due to a dirty diaper or sleepiness, but if those two areas are addressed, it’s time to fetch the bottle.
2. Ask Your Partner To Provide You With A Schedule
As your baby grows, they won’t need to be nursed every hour or so and their feeding patterns fall into a somewhat predictable schedule. And chances are that your partner noticed and took note of when the baby needed to eat. So, if you’re going to be nursing the baby for a couple of days or just taking over while the mom rests, it would help to be able to refer to the schedule. So, make one and stick it on the fridge or use the nursing app so that you know exactly when to prepare a bottle for your hungry little one.
3. Figure Out How Much To Feed The Baby
Every parent worries that they are either underfeeding or overfeeding the baby. But as long as your little one is steadily gaining weight, sleeps well and produces a good amount of dirty diapers, there is no need to worry. However, you do need to know how much milk to feed your child as they grow and develop. Newborns typically drink around 1 to 2 ounces of milk every 2 to 3 hours. At two months your baby will have 4 to 5 ounces in each feed. And this will increase to 6 ounces when they reach 4 months old. By the time your baby is 6 months old they will drink anywhere between 6 to 8 ounces in a feeding (1).
4. Find The Right Bottle And Learn To Mix Formula
There are several types of bottles in the market and finding one that suits your baby is integral to your bottle feeding success. Make sure you pick a nipple shape that your baby can easily grasp onto and make sure they are slow flow nipples so that it naturally replicates the nursing experience for your little one. If you’re planning on feeding your baby formula, you need to get the ratio of water and formula right. If you water it down or make it concentrated it can seriously affect the electrolyte balance which can have adverse effects for your baby. So make sure you measure your formula and water correctly every single time.
5. Burp Your Baby
This step is extremely important and something you need to learn how to do. Once your tiny tot has had their fill of the milk, it’s time to get to burping. There are several burping techniques, but the most common is to simply pat your baby’s back until they burp. Make sure to lay down a burping cloth on yourself before your baby as you might get some spittle and milk on your clothes along with your baby’s burp. Make sure your little one burps twice to ensure that they aren’t gassy.
Taking care of your little one and ensuring that they are well fed isn’t as easy as it sounds. But bottle feeding doesn’t have to be an arduous chore either. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll be a natural!